Today's Top Picks: Three NBA Draft prop bets, including how many freshmen get taken in the top 10
Also, watch SportsLine on CBS Sports HQ live at 6 p.m. ET for all today's best bets
One week ago tonight, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to capture their first title in franchise history. It was a dynamite run through the postseason, and made even more impressive by the fact that they don't have a single lottery pick on the roster.
No, not even the "Board Man," Kawhi Leonard, was taken in the lottery, going No. 15 overall back in 2011. In fact, three members of the Raptors' rotation -- Danny Green, Marc Gasol and Norm Powell -- were second-round picks, while another, Fred VanVleet, went undrafted.
So what does that tell us about the 2019 NBA Draft? Perhaps not much. On Thursday night, another class of rookies will enter the league, and those taken at the top of the draft will have the hopes and dreams of entire franchises dropped on their shoulders, just like every other year. But especially in a draft that's not loaded with high-end prospects, the Raptors' run serves as a reminder on two fronts.
One, that there are plenty of valuable players to be found outside of the lottery, and two, that despite all claims otherwise, we don't truly know how teams did in this draft until years down the line. Still, it's a fun and exciting event, and one of the best nights of the NBA calendar.
Now, on to the picks. All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. First to be drafted: Coby White vs. Cam Reddish: White -280
These aren't great odds, but -280 isn't bad for what looks like as much of a lock as you can get in this draft outside of the top three picks. After Ja Morant, who the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to take at No. 2, the next best point guards are Darius Garland and White, and it seems both will be gone no later than No. 7. Garland may go as high as No. 4 if the Pelicans trade that pick, and after that both the Suns and Bulls are in need of a point guard as they continue their rebuilds. It seems, then, that White's floor is at No. 7 to Chicago. Meanwhile, not a single mock draft from any major site has Reddish going higher than No. 8 to the Atlanta Hawks.
SportsLine expert Mike McClure has also locked in his NBA Draft best bets, including his takes on Darius Garland and De'Andre Hunter. You can see all of McClure's picks over at SportsLine.
2. Over/Under 5.5 freshman drafted in the top 10: Over -230
Again, these aren't tremendous odds, but all signs point to the over here. The first three picks seem to be locked in at this point. Zion Williamson to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 1, Ja Morant to the Memphis Grizzlies at No. 2 and R.J. Barrett to the New York Knicks at No. 3. All three of them are freshman, which means to hit the over you only need three more freshman taken in the next seven picks. The NBA's consensus mock draft has Darius Garland, Coby White and Cam Reddish all going in the top 10, as well as Jaxson Hayes, which would just be a bonus. At this point, it seems like a lock that at least three of those four will be top-10 picks, which would cash the over.
SportsLine MLB expert Michael Rusk has hit on 66 of his last 117 MLB picks, adding to his total of more than $3,000 on $100 bets since the start of the 2017 season. He's locked in three best bets for Thursday's slate, which you can check out at SportsLine.
3. Cam Reddish draft position: Over 7.5 -235
Again we'll play it safe, taking what looks to be a sure thing over potentially better odds. In regards to Reddish, let's look at what we know. The top three picks -- Williamson, Morant and Barrett -- are all but locked in, so Reddish isn't going there. The next four picks, in some order, will likely be Darius Garland, De'Andre Hunter, Jarrett Culver and Coby White. The exact order may flip-flop here or there depending on what guard or what wing one team likes over the other, but those four seem to have established themselves as the second group. So in order for Reddish to jump into the top seven, he'd have to leapfrog one of that quartet, and there's been absolutely no noise about that happening. In fact, most teams seem wary of the freshman, who had an inconsistent season at Duke. Every single mock draft from every single major publication has him going at No. 8 to the Hawks, but he could go even lower.
SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has been massively profitable in 2019, and he's back with his picks for UFC Fight Night 154. He is backing Kevin Holland (-225) to get the best of Alessio Di Chirico, and you can find all of his picks over at SportsLine.
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